BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
Sold on Song. Classic songs, covers, songwriting and more. Listen Live.

 Full Schedule
-













Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
JAZZ  FACTS
Jazz Analysis
Genres > Jazz
Jazz Facts
About Jazz
All musical genres – folk, rock or even classical – have included elements of improvisation. But in jazz, improvisation provides the entire foundation.
Click here to read more...


Key events in  jazz
 Miles Davis
In 1949 the jazz trumpeter leads his new nonet - that's a nine-piece band - in a series of highly influential recordings known as Birth of the Cool, signalling a whole new and more laid-back approach to jazz.

 Round Midnight
The world waits until 1986 for what is arguably the best film about jazz. Round Midnight hits the screens with Dexter Gordon playing tenorist Dale Turner whose screen life was based on jazz legends Lester Young and Bud Powell. It wins a host of awards, including an Oscar for Best Score for Herbie Hancock.

 A King Is Born
In 1935, California's Palorma Ballroom plays host to the final concert of a broadcast nationwide tour of the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Said by many to mark the beginning of the swing era, and his reign as the undisputed King of Swing.

 Dizzy & Bird
In 1945 Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker finally get into the recording studio together to record "Groovin' High", one of the anthems of their revolutionary new music, Bebop.

 Satchmo
In New Orleans in 1918 King Oliver discovers trumpet virtuoso Louis Armstrong who becomes one of the world's biggest, most charismatic and readily identifiable stars of jazz and popular music.


Key  jazz  songwriters
Miles Davis  Miles Davis
One of jazz's musical pathfinders, Miles Davis pushed, pulled and poked at the form - slowing it down, electrifying it and generally reinventing it whenever he got the chance.


 Weirdo
 Somethin' else
 Bitches Brew
 
Duke Ellington  Duke Ellington
The composer of many jazz standards - including "Take The A Train", "It Don't Mean A Thing" and "Rockin' In Rhythm" - bandleader Ellington, the son of a White House butler, is a gigantic figure in the genre. Many of his compositions were adapted as popular songs and showtunes.

 Mood Indigo with Louis Armstrong
 Prelude To A Kiss
 It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
 
Charlie Parker  Charlie Parker
Jazz's arch improviser and possibly the greatest saxophonist ever, Parker and his expressive compositions have cast a giant shadow over generations of jazz musicians.

 Moose The Mooch
 Hot Blues
 Dexterity
 
More songs.

More artists.



Music latest

BBC Music Profiles
Discover all you need on your favourite artist in BBC Music's great collection of profiles.

 DON'T MISS
Doves Doves
Special guests on Dermot's show this week




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy